Ant and Debt

This week ITV looks set to publish its worst ever set of results. With a crisis in the advertising market and ever more competition to erode its share of viewing — although its digital channels are compensating for much of the loss — the company is closing studios, losing jobs and cutting its production budgets. Amid the larger question of whether the current commercial television model has any long-term future, this article is a neat summary of ITV’s current plight, while Variety reports on its plans for international expansion. Realistically, this is the only sensible way forward: the UK market, unlike the US, simply isn’t big enough to sustain the kind of production budgets that quality drama requires. 

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2 thoughts on “Ant and Debt

  1. really interesting, though, is BT vision’s hopes to merge with C4. would love to hear your thoughts on it.

  2. Well — as the politicians say — I’m glad you asked me that. Channel 4, if you’ll forgive the analogy, is standing on the street corner with its skirt rolled up, while BT/ BBC/ ITV etc. drive past slowly. The potential with BT is a genuinely innovative partnership between content and technology / distribution; the danger is that a niche + a niche = a niche. BT doesn’t offer the worldwide reach of … well, Worldwide. It’s appealing to 4 because they’re horses of a different colour; everyone won’t be fighting for the same jobs. But 4 has the potential to be a provocative, counter-intuitive global media brand in a way that the BBC never could, and I’m not convinced that BT is the partner who could make that happen. Who could? It might be that a US partner is a better option. Imagine a 4/Turner or a 4/Participant, dedicated to worldwide mischief making. That’s what I’d like to see.

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